Joburg council returns Brenda Fassie’s statue following public outcry

09 February 2018. Bongani Fassie a musician best known as the son of the late Brenda Fassie and was a member of the hip hop outfit Jozi, with Da L.E.S. and Ishmael. He was also a former Big Dudes band member, playing the piano, drums, guitar and congas. He produced hip hop and pop hits as a solo and a group artist, releasing his debut solo album African Boy at the age of 10.Picture: Moeletsi Mabe/Sunday Times

Johannesburg residents and tourists can finally rest easy as the city of Joburg confirmed that the statue of Brenda Fassie will return to Newtown.

This comes after an outcry from the public when the statue was taken down without informing residents. The city said that it was taken for repairs.

“The much-loved Brenda Fassie statue will be returning to the Newtown Cultural Precinct, to occupy a place of honour at the public plaza outside the Market Theatre. Previously located outside Newtown’s Bassline (currently Music Factory), the statue was removed for repairs on 11 June 2019, following concerns about its safe-keeping,” confirmed the city in a statement.

The city says they were looking for a cultural space that is accessible to the public and protected by local stakeholders.

“The consultative process produced an overwhelming response was that the sculpture should remain in Newtown. When exploring options in Newtown, the most supported location proposed was outside The Market Theatre. We as the City support this solution as it reflects the desires of our residents and other important stakeholders. MaBrrr will always have a place in our hearts, and a home in our City,” said MMC Nonhlanhla Sifumba.

The sculpture was one piece in a collection of artworks transferred to the City of Johannesburg by the Sunday Herald Times in 2006 to commemorate 100 years of newsmakers and events and intended to be a gift to the Johannesburg community.

The Brenda Fassie Statue is a well-loved, interactive commemoration of an iconic South African musician.

The city of Joburg has not confirmed when it will put it back.


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